Once you’ve learned the stationary No Handed 50-50, it might seem straightforward to roll into one – until you try it. The rolling no handed 50-50 is close enough to the basic rolling casper that you’d think it works the same way, but in reality, the method to get onto the truck from a rolling position borrows more from the kickflip than anything else.
As such, before you learn this, it’s worth making sure you can do all of the aforementioned tricks solidly and consistently. Don’t be tempted to rush ahead – all you’ll get for your troubles is a bruised foot and some snapped laces if you’ve not done the groundwork.
Your starting position should look like a slightly spread out kickflip. The front foot needs to be around the front truck bolts, and the back foot hooks just like a kickflip variation just in front of the back truck. The point of contact with the rail should be about a foot’s width in front of the truck bolts.
You want to begin by rolling backwards at a low speed. If you go too fast you’ll slide out; if you go too slowly, you won’t have the momentum to pick the board up properly. You also want to squat down fairly low, as seen here.
Once you’re ready, straighten your legs and start pushing down on the front foot. The back foot then starts pulling over in the same way as it would for a kickflip variation – just don’t jump! You don’t want to lose contact with the board at all.
This frame could easily be the start of a kickflip variation – you should be able to see the similarity. I don’t need to flick too far sideways with the back foot, though; as soon as the side of the foot contacts the underside of the board, I’m going to dip the heel and roll onto the truck.
From the other side, you can see that the front foot stays pointing at the nose, and I use the side of the foot to control the board, preventing it from moving too far away from me or flipping too far over.
Once the board is upside down, the front foot spins in as it would for a casper. Lifting it up to a no handed 50-50 is dependent on two things: the momentum of the board stopping dead at the tail, swinging the nose upwards, and me being semi-weightless from straightening my legs as I started the trick.
Momentum and weightlessness have won out, and I’ve straightened my legs into the textbook no handed 50-50 position. However, I’m probably not going to hold this long – momentum is going to bring me back out of it soon enough.
Look at the angle of my body here. My backwards momentum is trying to get the nose of the board to complete its arc, and the key is to go with it instead of fighting it. Lean back and let the nose keep rising.
The key is to know when to recenter your body. As the nose reaches a vertical position, I need to try to get my hips back above it, or I’m going to fall off backwards. Meanwhile, my front foot keeps pulling the board through the arc and towards the ground.
Once the board starts falling away, I need to do a tiny hop off the truck, and get my back foot out of the way. It’s important my front foot is still in contact with the board when that happens – I don’t want to accidentally knock the board away from me with my back foot.
Having moved my back foot, the nose can keep dropping, and my front foot can move into position above the back truck, ready for the landing. It’ll guide the board towards the floor, preventing it from over-rotating or bouncing away from me.
Every time I land these, I end up doing an endover to come back to forwards. I think it’s the rotation caused by rotating the shoulders 90º through the trick. I wouldn’t worry about it if you’re in the same boat – roll with it and footwork away into the next move.
As mentioned in the video, the type of shoes you wear will have a surprising amount of influence on this trick. Cupsole shoes like the Etnies Marana (or almost any early 2000s tech shoe) won’t have enough board feel or flex to really scoop this one well. A vulcanised sole will feel much better; just invest in some duct tape or better shoelaces, as this trick is a real lace-snapper.
If you’re using a single kick, you might want to start off on the flat nose, and stand on the front truck; that way the kicktail will stop your front foot sliding out from under the board. This is especially important on early 80s style designs like Mullen’s Chessboard, where the nose is so short that it’s very easy to slide off the end and drop the trick.
It also becomes much easier to pick the board up on a rolling no handed 50-50 if the tail (or nose) you’re standing on is shorter and flatter. The reason for this is simple – the board will hit the ground faster, and your centre of gravity will be lower. This trick isn’t impossible on a street board with steep and long kicktails, but it is considerably less comfortable.
As with any no handed 50-50 or casper, steep concave isn’t going to be your friend while you learn this, especially if you like thinner shoes. Swap to a flatter board or pad the top of your foot with something in your shoe if you’re going to be trying these for an hour or so.
If you find yourself missing the truck a lot, look at the back foot placement. Too far forward will land you on the deck. Too far back will put you onto the wheels. If you’re still missing the truck, try using some thick risers or some taller trucks to give you a bit more to aim for.
It’s also worth picking up some skid plates before you start working on these. Razortail and truck tricks don’t mix; standing on the end of a razortailed deck is an easy way to totally ruin your board.
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